Building Tasks with Instant Messaging Apps
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In this article the author tries to analyze the relationship between ‘task’ defined in specialized literature as an activity in which the language in question is used with a communicative purpose to achieve an outcome (Diadori, et al., 2008) and its implementation in virtual environments. In the first part of this paper author presents the ‘task’ and Task-based Language Teaching main features. The article describes the advantages of introducing technology-mediated tasks in a traditional classroom environment. This point of view is supported by the data collected during the case study performed at the Italian Institute of Culture in Moscow, Russian Federation. The second part focuses on the case study. The technology-mediated tasks supported by Whatsapp – an instant messaging app were used in the Italian as the foreign language course. The app allowed to create an informal learning path, parallel to formal learning. The chat rooms of the Instant messaging app were the space when students should to work. There they received task instructions and had to chat in Italian making decisions and solving the problems. The performance of the task also included preparing and presenting the report. The data collected from the tasks’ assessment and the overall experience suggests an increasing students’ motivation and interest to learn languages enhanced with technology.
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